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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.16%
Just Average: 3.09%
Pretty Crappy: 2.47%
Sucks: 6.79%

10 reviews, 102 user ratings

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25th Hour
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by John Rice

"A powerful glimpse of freedom and regret."
5 stars

This was the most difficult review I have done yet. The problem was, no matter what I said about 25th Hour, it seemed like I was selling it short. Unlike my other two favorite films of 2002, 25th Hour did not hit me instantly. It took two or three viewings and a lot of thought to begin realizing what a truly great film it is. 25th Hour is deceptively complex. At times it is ultra realistic and at other times it is overtly melodramatic, while always being quite somber. It also has several of what I like to refer to as outrageous cinematic moments. Scenes where it almost seems to be screaming “This is a movie.” 25th Hour asks for patience and thoughtfulness from the audience. There are several scenes which may seem offensive, unnecessary or even absurd on the surface, but in the end, absolutely every aspect is finely crafted and beneficial to the complete telling of the story.

25th Hour takes place during the 24 hours before former drug dealer Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) will be sent to prison for 7 years. He is unsure if he will survive his sentence and wants to spend these final hours repairing his most important relationships. He reconnects with his two oldest friends (Philip Seymour Hoffman & Barry Pepper) who argue with each other over whether Monty deserves the fate he is facing. He visits his father (Brian Cox) who became an alcoholic after the death of his mother. He wonders if his girlfriend, Naturelle (Rosario Dawson) is the one who turned him in to the DEA. Most of all, he regrets the choices he has made, eventually dreaming of how his life could have been.

In the end, 25th Hour is probably the most profoundly patriotic film I have ever seen. It is not a flag waving, easy type of patriotism, but addresses the responsibilities and personal burden of freedom as Monty realizes it is his own lack of judgment and pursuit of quick rewards which have brought him to this point. It is a bit ironic, but I suppose it would take a vocal critic like filmmaker Spike Lee to make this film what it is.

One of the most impressive aspects of 25th Hour is the cast, which is easily the best of 2002. Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brian Cox are not big name celebrities, but there are very few film actors who can match their talent. I have had high hopes for Barry Pepper since his charismatic role as a Psalm quoting sniper in Saving Private Ryan and his potential seems to be presenting itself in 25th Hour. Finally is Rosario Dawson as Naturelle. Dawson is hardly a newcomer, but nothing she has done to date has even hinted at this level of dramatic talent. The character of Naturelle is one of the most admirable, complex, imperfect and realistic I have seen in years and Dawson plays her perfectly as she silently suffers the criticism of others, warranted or not. This is the type of low key character who is easy to overlook, but it is this type of character who often makes movies interesting. (This review originally appeared on Slacker-Reviews.com).

Difficult and rather ambiguous, but one of the finest films of 2002.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6463&reviewer=373
originally posted: 08/05/04 20:27:07
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User Comments

2/16/18 Jim Kerr Spike Lee way overrated. Great actors lousy plot poor character development. 1 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell a potent look at a mans last days of freedom 4 stars
6/13/12 tommy yes spike lee's masterpiece.....one of many... 5 stars
3/02/11 chris c A somber look at a man's last days of freedom shadowed by the tragedy of 9/11 5 stars
2/02/11 isaiah one of my three favorite movies 5 stars
12/20/08 Tony Transformed the way I look at justice and redemption. 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
5/19/08 jointz Ed Norton transcends being just an actor in 25th Hour. Spike really outdid himself! 5 stars
3/10/08 Leumas Spectacular 5 stars
3/02/08 ladavies I could watch this movie over and over again...and have. 5 stars
10/23/07 lee Hanson What a powerful film. It is flawless from beginning to end. 5 stars
6/10/07 fools♫gold I related to everyone but Norton's character until the beautiful end. 5 stars
5/30/07 ES alright, not much there 3 stars
10/20/06 Billychic Loved the movie - however, I'm still trying to figure out the ending... 4 stars
8/29/06 scott amazing movie, emotion packed, interesting 4 stars
3/27/06 john martin one of the best american movies 5 stars
8/07/05 E This confusing, plot-less piece of crap is overrated 2 stars
8/05/05 Naruto COMPLETE NONSENSE!!! The reviewers are mad 1 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma A long, dull, and uninteresting movie 2 stars
6/12/05 Hack-SAW The rating says it all... 5 stars
6/08/05 Agent Sands Possibly Spike Lee's very best movie next to Do the Right Thing. 5 stars
5/10/05 Simon A movie as carried by its fantastic cast-performances as any. Powerful. 5 stars
2/06/05 bodi Najlepszy fim jaki iwdzialem 5 stars
12/20/04 DM Powerful, but Lee gets caught up in his own excesses 4 stars
10/29/04 payvand one of my all-time favorites, unbelievable monologues, unbelievable performance by norton! 5 stars
10/13/04 Steve Newman 30 minutes too long - wuld not watch again 3 stars
8/27/04 Billy GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT! 5 stars
8/11/04 kc norton is great 5 stars
5/31/04 Big Russian So Spike, so different, so good, great casting 5 stars
5/22/04 vasilis I LIKED IT A LOT 5 stars
4/14/04 Charlene Javier Another good film from Lee. 4 stars
4/14/04 rojo Great acting and directing, absorbing drama. 5 stars
4/14/04 alice Sucked bigtime. Forced myself to see it but could'nt watch it till the end soo boring... 1 stars
4/11/04 y2mckay Norton gives great performance, film holds interest until pretentious wrap-up 4 stars
2/18/04 Lauren The best movie i have ever seen! Edward Norton is the best of the best 5 stars
2/01/04 This girl Freaking fantastic. Poignant and provocative and some great visual flair. 5 stars
1/23/04 Ben Carasso A verist impression of New York and is dwellers' Yhe monologur in front of tke mirror is ai 5 stars
1/19/04 Chuckie Atkins Jr. I don't get how it relates to 9/11, except it acknowldeges that it happened. 4 stars
1/16/04 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) Excellent in all departments. Another great one for both Spike and Norton. Kick-ass. 5 stars
1/01/04 OnlyChild Love Ed, but hate the movie. Slow moving and boring 1 stars
12/16/03 Monster W. Kung Drama as it should be. Very good, with excellent performances. 4 stars
12/08/03 john sensational - a honest and deeply felt analogy about the state America after 9/11 5 stars
12/05/03 Phil Parma Brian Cox is awesome. Loved it. 5 stars
11/08/03 anne Norton is marvellous! 5 stars
10/29/03 Jinnvisible Spike Lee directs,,,,,,,,,, reformed american history x nazi goes back to JAIL 4 stars
10/01/03 snowconehead You have to work for it, if you want to enjoy it 3 stars
9/26/03 Pete Spike does it again 5 stars
9/21/03 Terryn Really good 5 stars
9/12/03 y2mckay Solid performances, Norton's "FUCK YOU" speech great, but Spike gets pretentious as usual 4 stars
8/22/03 Matt Great acting all around, powerful movie. 5 stars
8/03/03 Norton Awesome movie! 5 stars
7/31/03 r papp I'm a huge Edward Norton fan, so my objectivity is impaired. 5 stars
7/21/03 Unsaying oman I was tranfixed from studio credit to studio credit. The ideal experience too infrequent. 5 stars
7/20/03 The Talking Elbow I wish there were more movies like this, not perfect, but damn, compare this to Juwanna Man 5 stars
7/11/03 bobby it was bullshit 1 stars
7/04/03 Dianne Pope This is the film I have been waiting for to restore my faith in film making again! 5 stars
6/30/03 serbay supper excellent 5 stars
6/30/03 Corky Spike's films always show a truly humanistic core when all is said and done. Bravo! 4 stars
6/28/03 meh meh 5 stars
6/22/03 Johnny Awful. Everyone who says it's great can't really explain because it's style no substance. 1 stars
6/14/03 John Bale An exceptional film maker, exceptional cast and exceptional story. Brilliant ! 5 stars
6/11/03 Rocky Oh please!! I seen better! 2 stars
6/05/03 Bob Amazing and hypnotic in every way 5 stars
5/30/03 S Daniel He capitalized off of 9/11 because he has no talent to produce a real movie 1 stars
5/26/03 mipchunk this movie felt like 25 hours of wasted time! mirror sequence was dramatic kack. 2 stars
5/26/03 Emily Stein Why hasn't Spike Lee won an Oscar? He never dissappoints! I 5 stars
5/24/03 DarkHorse No easy outs, including the uncertain finish 5 stars
5/19/03 JJ Right on Jim The movie Freak. 25th hour is one of my fav films ever! Pepper is amazing 5 stars
5/16/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) GREAT cast and some of Spike Lee's master directing. VERY GOOD music and story, too. 5 stars
5/04/03 thejames How this movie got a bad rep i dont know. 5 stars
4/06/03 Elizaveta a film with lots of potential that never quite materialized. And it sure liked to stagnate. 4 stars
3/21/03 Jimmy3Z Fantastic writing... Barry Pepper is tremendous 5 stars
3/09/03 Emmalen best acting/directing/writing combo i've seen in a long time--eloquent and spare 5 stars
3/07/03 Andrew Carden Three Words: W-O-W! 5 stars
3/07/03 Winn Greenwood Amazingly done. The mirror sequence is Genius. 5 stars
2/28/03 mc had low expectations and yet I was really engaged by the film 5 stars
2/20/03 Jon Great film... 5 stars
2/08/03 pauline I completely agree with you, Jim( the Movie Freak )!. 5 stars
2/05/03 Donnieboy45 The best movie I've seen since Swingers 5 stars
1/31/03 nancy Riveting-moved me to tears 5 stars
1/29/03 Nancy Tee Amazing 5 stars
1/28/03 Jon The worst movie I have seen in the last two years. Ultra boring. 1 stars
1/27/03 Mike Cray This movie is simply amazing, truly great. 5 stars
1/25/03 FrayLo Norton rocks and some powerful images throughout the movie make this worthwhile 5 stars
1/22/03 Stephanie Edward Norton and cast were superb. Recommend not to miss. 5 stars
1/21/03 the white rabbit a masterpiece from spike lee. 5 stars
1/19/03 WestcoastPunk Greatest movie of the year. Norton is a fuckin God 5 stars
1/16/03 nick2k it was very good...and the wonderful cinematography. but i liked narc more overall. 5 stars
1/12/03 Yo Mama! Excellent film/acting/directing/cinematography etc... even the 9/11 stuff wasn't too much. 5 stars
1/11/03 Flip poignant, deep--Lee had me very minute 5 stars
1/10/03 Butterbean Great character developments. Some deja vu from Do The Right Thing, but it's forgivable. 4 stars
1/10/03 dude on first street yeah it's got punch, yes it serves, but I shouldn't have dipped into my rent cash to see it 4 stars
1/08/03 Amy One of the best films I've seen this year! 5 stars
12/26/02 helloevery1 jim knows what's he talking about. this is a monumental film! norton's best in years 5 stars
12/23/02 Me Not U Pony, Martin, & Johnny Are The Ones That Suck Ass. An amazing post 9/11 film! 5 stars
12/22/02 meathole Amazing and important. Benioff is God. 5 stars
12/22/02 pony theee worst film ever, how do you make even P.S. Hoffman suck so hard???? 1 stars
12/20/02 Terry M. Why isn't everybody pushing for this film? Best i've seen in years! 5 stars
12/20/02 Johnny Boring, misplaced monologue, like every Lee film "I hate the minorities." Sleepwalking, yes 1 stars
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  19-Dec-2002 (R)



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